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Study: More Apps Are Including Privacy Policies

More than eight out of 10 free apps from the iOS (Apple) App
Store come with a privacy policy -- either within the app or accessible through
the store -- and more than 6 out of 10 paid apps do, too.

That is according to a study
released by the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) Wednesday, July 11, in advance of
the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)-hosted
stakeholder meeting in Washington on July 12 on enforcing an Obama Administration-backed
privacy Bill of Rights. It is the first in a series of meetings, with
Thursday's focusing on apps and mobile privacy.

Researchers picked 25 free apps and 25 paid apps based on
the top apps of all time list from Apple released March 3, 2012. An app was
credited as having a privacy policy if it was within the app itself but also if
it was at the listing page in the app store.

According to the study, the percentage of free apps with
privacy policies doubled from 40% in a December 2011 study to 84% as of June on
the iOS App Store platform, and paid apps with privacy policies were up
slightly from 60% to 64%.

According to FPF, "almost all" leading apps that
collect location information include privacy policies.

Once an app includes a privacy policy, their developers
become accountable to the Federal Trade Commission if they violate those
privacy promises. One of the key issues for government and industry is
enforcing privacy protections on companies that do not make any promises and
thus are not subject to FTC lawsuits for deceptive practices.